Sunday, December 28, 2003

Some news, answers and clarifications:

1-about the women role:
-We have 3 women out of 25 members in the GC, one was assassinated by the Ba'athists and I've heard that another woman will fill the resulting vacancy (a senior dentist).
-We have one female minister (Kurdish)-a Ph.D. holder for the 1st time in the history of Iraq.
- The percentage of female in college ranges from about 30% in some colleges to about 70% in certain ones, such as those of pharmacy, dentistry, biology, teaching colleges, fine arts.
- We have many female members in the FPS and there were always female officer doctors in the army.
- More than 90% of the primary schools teachers are women.
- All the high schools in Iraq with the exception of one (the BIS) are separated (a school is either for girls or for boys), so most of the teachers of the girls schools are women.
- The banks, the offices of the ministries have a majority of women employees.
- in general, the percentage of women in our society was always higher than that of men, and wars and executions have even made this more prominent.

2- about the elections and the Sistani's fatwa, we have somewhat different opinions and each of us will post his own.

3- most of the shops are holding signs saying "the old currency will not be accepted after January the 1st." although it will be officially accepted till the 15th. of the same month.

4- the overlap process went so smoothly even easier than what Paul Bremer anticipated as he made many interviews to explain this procedure which he described as complex and will make many difficulties.

5- This maybe late, but 3 days ago another (iron coffin) was recovered from the of the Olympic association where it was buried.
Uday used to use this coffin to punish athletes who failed to make satisfactory achievements.
They would open the door of the coffin, which is supplied with long nails all around the interior, with their tips pointed to the inside. The unfortunate man would be kept inside in an upright position, the door closed and he would have to remain motionless in a standing position as every move would cause the sharp nails to prick his body. The poor athlete would remain so until Uday remember him and decide that he had enough.

6- The Iraqi TV channel is performing the special broadcasting on the Eutel W3 satellite, but Iraqis rarely watch this one as most of them watch the Nilesat, Arabsat 2/3 and the Hot bird. However I've seen many advertisements lately about this channel even on Al-Jazeera, I hope they'll soon start broadcasting through one of the popular satellite. There are also news about an American channel in Arabic with a main office in Baghdad (to counter-act the poisonous effect of Al-Jazeera and Al- Arabiya, etc.) anyway, there is a lot of debate about the credibility of such a channel and about how the Arabs will respond to it.

7- There has been a considerable improvement in the power supply in the last 2 days from about 2-4 hours of electrical supply per day to about 10-12 hours per day now. Reports from Iraqi newspapers say that this improvement will continue but in a slow rhythm and will probably take along time due to the miserable shape of power supply stations, generators and high voltage towers as a result of years of neglect, recent terrorist attacks and looting.

8-None of the parties in the GC has demanded the establishing of a theocratic government. The same applies for most of the major parties and political groups with very few exceptions. Even though some of these parties are somewhat radical Islamic parties, but as they realize that it's almost impossible to apply an Islamic Share'a law in Iraq, they seem to accept and respect democracy and continue their peaceful political campaign to achieve a majority in the future. A very remote possibility I'd like to say.

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